One Step Forward


Trying to have a relationship has one of the hardest things for me to do. I am a 3 time failure. I hated my daughter’s biological father, AKA Sperm Donor, but stayed with him for 1 1/2 years out of fear. Then I married a man I didn’t love, of course that didn’t work out, and we divorced after 7 years. Then there was the last one. I loved him with everything I have. And he abused me, mostly verbally. He beat me once, and I fought back. I think he was afraid to ever try to hit me again, because I seriously would have killed him. But I was afraid for the last year, and finally left him 5 years ago. The last 5 years, he still has tried to get me back, always convinced that I will come home, but I won’t. A couple of months ago, he finally has let me go (at least I think so this time) for good.

I didn’t date anyone during the first 4 1/2 years away from him. I just lost all faith in men/dating/relationships. But an old high school friend convinced me to try again, with him. Let me tell you that it has been a very, very painstaking thing. We have been ‘seeing’ each other for 6 months now, and still have not gone on a date. I have told him I was done at least a dozen times, but there I am, still talking to him. He tells me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, but still we don’t date. Don’t tell anyone we are seeing each other. It is like our dirty little secret. He has just come out of a 17 year bad relationship, and me with my issues. You can guess that we really have issues to deal with.

My therapist hates him, my co-workers hate him, Joan hates him, my family hates him, and none of them even really know what goes on in our relationship. Need I go on? But there is something there that makes me feel safe. Maybe because I knew him from high school, and he used to work with my es-husband. I don’t know, but I know he can’t physically hurt me, he just doesn’t have it in him. That is a big plus in my book. So, we go on, not really seeing each other, but seeing each other.

My therapist made me promise to go out with the next man who asked me out. As it turned out, last week I had 2. She told me to go out with both, and I did. It was the first time I had dated in over 5 years. Strange. So, what happened? Each went almost the same. I met them at a restaurant (yeah, nobody is going to know where I live, sorry), and after dinner we talked in the parking lot for over an hour. Then I said goodbye to each of them, and went home. Both would like to see me again, don’t know why. Neither of them got so much as even a hug. And while I was on my 2nd date, the man I have been ‘seeing’ but not dating started texting me, like he knew.

So, when I got home, I told him that I had been on 2 dates over the weekend with 2 men. He was all for it. Strange, this from the guy who wants to spend his life with me, I know. He is perfectly fine with me dating other men, just so long as I don’t have sex with them. Like that is even a remote possibility. I couldn’t believe he took it so well. I told him that it just isn’t right that I have to see other men to get the date he should be taking me on, but he says he is taking baby steps. More like snail baby-steps. But I guess that is what I need, a very very slow-paced relationship.

He handled the whole dating thing so much better than I thought, so I decided to brave it, and broach the MST subject with him. I told him about the class action lawsuit, and about me filing my Comp & Pen. I told him only about being raped in Ft Gordon, nothing else. He took that all well, and is even kind of supportive. He asked why I didn’t tell him earlier. I said it isn’t exactly something you bring up on a first date or anything. I asked him if he thought I was tainted because of the rape, he said no. Then I went for the next one, I told him that one of the men had been black, and asked if that changed his opinion, it didn’t. I have had dealings with men in the past who are stupid and racist, and will not be with a woman who has been with a black man, even via rape, so it was a legitimate question to ask.

Anyway, my therapist isn’t happy that he is still in my life, because he won’t take me out in public. But next week my best friend from high school is coming back to Iowa, and we are all going to hang out together. I told him that would be very public, and since she knows we are seeing each other, so will all of our high school friends. He seems fine with that as well. So, I don’t know where this is all leading, do I want to spend my life with him. Not at this time, but it is a totally different relationship than I have ever had before, so we shall see.

Wish me luck,

Brigid

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